Music legend Carl Verheyen and his band the Carl Verheyen Band will be playing one night only at the San Juan Island Brewery Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Islanders might recognize his name as lead guitarist for Supertramp for decades, and has performed and recorded with musical giants including BB King, Cher, the Bee Gees and Christina Aguilera.
“A successful musician can play in many styles and that is what we will be doing at the show. We will be playing everything from bluegrass to country blues and rock,” Verheyen said, as well as a handful of covers. Verheyen has 16 albums over the years and will be drawing a lot from those.
“Someone asked me if we would be playing “A Place for Me,” from the album “Six” It was their favorite song and told me it had gotten them through a lot over the years. As a musician hearing stories that is just an incredible feeling,” Verheyen said, adding that indeed “A Place for Me.” is on the setlist.
He will be joined by longtime collaborator and bassist Dave Marotta (Phil Collins, Gino Vanelli), ace drummer John Mader (Hamilton, the musical) and the newest addition to his band, keyboardist and guitarist Troy Dexter (Wilson Phillips).
Verheyen’s career path became established at the young age of eleven when he was given his first guitar as a birthday present. The only other job he has held, Verheyen said, was as a box boy at a grocery store to pay off a Les Paul guitar with a loan.
In 1965, at the height of the British Invasion, folk music, and surf bands. Verheyen said there were also a number of TV stations at the time that would just play surfing footage with a surf music soundtrack, which he thought was really cool, and inspired his musical interest.
He joined Supertramp in 1985, leading to his meeting the Royal family. The band was taught beforehand the proper etiquette around royals.
When they did meet the family, Princess Diana knew exactly who he was. “She asked all kinds of questions, including what it was like growing up in California,” Verheyen said. Prince Charles was behind her and clearly did not know who the band was. Verheyen however, happened to know the prince recently celebrated his birthday in Texas. Wanting to illustrate how everything is bigger in Texas, they made him a huge sheet cake. Probably breaking all kinds of etiquette rules, Verheyen asked Charles if he enjoyed the massive cake.
“He said ‘oh it was fantastic. I wanted to put my knickers on and wade out into it,” Prince Charles responded. The two laughed and talked about how amazing that would be and what a great photo op that would have made.
Playing with Supertramp took Verheyen on adventures around the world. They played in the ancient Roman arenas of Verona Italy and Nimes France. He was blown away by the venues. “Those are cool because your playing, looking out and realize this been a venue for thousands of years, maybe even for gladiators,” Verheyen said.
For young musicians wanting to lead a similarly adventurous life, Verheyen advised them against over-specializing. “To make a living at music, do not specialize to the point where you can only play one type of music,” he said. “Try to play a variety of genres. You want to be hired because you can play a wide range.”
Verheyen has been inspired by artists from jazz to folk. “Folk rock really turned me on, Roger McGuinn’s electric 12-string jumps out of the radio at me, still to this day,” he said, adding that currently, he has been listening to slide guitarist Derek Trucks. Past influences, however, include Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck; jazz musicians Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino; and country musicians Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed Hubbard.
Pre-show tickets are $25 and $30 if bought the day of the show or at the door. It will take place at San Juan Brewery’s outdoor patio area. There will be a bartender, but no food will be served or sold. Bringing outside snacks is acceptable. At 4 p.m., however,Paella’s San Juan will be serving tapas and oysters, for those who would like to arrive early. The area also does not have chairs set up, but attendees are more than welcome and encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.
This will be Verheyen’s first show at the Brewery but he has played many sold-out shows at the San Juan Community Theater.
For tickets go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/carl-verheyen-tickets-354005348527
“I’m really looking forward to coming back, I have good friends on the island,” Verheyen said.